Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Cavalry Has Arrived!

Bless him Zak arrived last night to help finish the deck and help with my garden prep. He can work remotely, and is doing so, busy at his computer working with and for clients. But after he finishes with the work he will work for me. sigh of relief. I did not know what I was going to do. Garden Day approaches and I can't lift or bend, or stand very long, without intense pain, and Tony is still in bed with his virus.

Unfortunately I have a huge amount of work to do to get ready for Garden Day and for my gardening in general. This is where I really need Zak's help. And I still need to start squash and melon seeds, but it's been too cold, and the most uncooperative weather man is predicting frost this week. As I write it's almost noon and the temperature is 7 C (44 F). Not very enthusiastic weather for late April.

I transplanted tomatoes yesterday. At least the ones which are ready to transplant. I'm not quite sure what to make of two or three of the varieties I planted. The seed was newly bought. The patio and yellow tomatoes came up and have pretty much just sat there doing nothing while the rest of the tomatoes put out numerous leaves and grew three inches.

The green peppers have done the same. They finally came up, after a month, but have never done anything further. No second leaf, no growth. Weird. If they were in different soil, different pots, different light, heat, or anything different I could maybe blame it on that, but they are all planted in the same medium, in the same pots, and are in the same wee greenhouse.

Guess I'll end up buying yellow tomato starts, assuming I can find some, and green peppers. The basil is doing well. I have to transplant it as soon as I am able to do so. I am creeping around as if I were 100 years old, but I'm still able to keep up with the basics, cleaning, cooking, and tending my plants.

And I can't post without mentioning the birds which have returned in force. We are once again surrounded by the delightful Townsend and Yellow-rumped warblers, white-crowned sparrows, rosy and purple finches, juncos, chickadees, flickers, Brewer's blackbirds, red-tailed hawks and bald eagles, robins and others which do not come to mind immediately.

The Brewer's blackbirds are fun to have around. They have a metallic-sounding call, are very cheeky, and will approach within a few feet to check you out. They also will land in a branch above you to look you over and probably talk about your clothes, hairstyle, weight problems, or whatever it is birds talk about with each other. They have learned that people = food. Blackbird photo by Will Elder, NPS

Last summer a family with a very large dog tented across from us. They left a 50 lb bag of dog kibble open inside their "kitchen" tent. They'd go off in the morning and not be back until almost dark, and all day long there was a steady procession of blackbirds in and out of that tent, carrying away dog kibble. The tenters finally got smart and put the kibble in a container.

Okay, off to do some works!

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